Dealing with internet Trolls

Dealing with internet Trolls

We have been having some fun lately at the expence of a persistent Troll on this forum so I thought I'd do some research to better understand his strategy. The link above is about what Trump does ... but obviously the style is similar. Hope you like the read.

I've read a few articles and this .. and while no one strategy is foolproof this is what I've come up with so far ...

Key elements to address this type of troll appear to be to have fun with him and to point out the lies.

Pointing out positive news is golden ... and to really push reality ... he will push back with an unreal version (his reality) btw.

No need to be mean since an important part of his strategy is pushing a negative tone ... better to have fun with him and laugh :)

EaglesPDX | December 10, 2016

Love the autobiographical insights.

bmalloy0 | December 10, 2016

I don't even read their comments anymore. I see their name and just skip on to the next comment.

tstolz | December 10, 2016

Ignoring them is one strategy for sure.

It is important to deal with them and to shine a light on what they are doing as it is a threat to democracy. It isn't a left or right thing either ... when misinformation causes people to lose sight of what is real we are all in serious trouble!

One thing our house did for starters was to get paid news subscriptions to support better journalism. I'm thinking we are going to see a resurgence in this area as people all start to value good information again.

burdogg | December 11, 2016

I think it is funny the person who you speak about knows who he is :)

burdogg | December 11, 2016

Also funny - a Model S forum member avoided the 3 forum, Heard about a troll, no name given (I was on the thread when it was mentioned). This member came to the 3 forum to look and he picked up really fast who everyone was talking about. That is kind of sad isn't it?

Red Sage ca us | December 11, 2016

tstolz: The [IGNORE] factor is a great one to consider. It is a great idea to have fun with those who seek to mislead the public as well. Paid subscriptions to news services that do not accept advertising dollars can certainly help to encourage 'good information', I think.

JeffreyR | December 11, 2016

If you want to go the ignore route search for the Tesla Forum Enhancement Suite (TFES). It blocks spam, users, adds cool links, adds search bar, and (used to) improve style.

Bighorn | December 11, 2016

First comes troll, then Whack-a-Mole. Just say when.

carlk | December 11, 2016

Hit em' hard. Do not ignore.

SamO | December 12, 2016

Flagging powers activate.

tstolz | December 12, 2016

I was wondering about flagging him too. He's paid to be here .. so anything he says is disingenuous.

dsvick | December 12, 2016

I end up skipping half the comments in a lot of threads now because they end up being just a back and forth or someone spewing nonsense and everyone else trying to correct them. It is at the point where the only real information in any thread is in the first few post before they get over run with stupidity.

I'm not sure that anyone from Tesla actually reads these, but if they do they should realize that the forum (at least the Model 3 one) is rapidly becoming of no use to anyone who actually wants to come here to share knowledge and engage with others over the Mode 3.

There are very few new posters lately, there is a reason for that ....

tstolz | December 12, 2016

True .. also a part of this guys strategy I suppose ... and a reason to flag him.

SamO | December 12, 2016

Trolls win if you ignore them as their lies stay uncorrected.

Trolls win if you respond as they get to derail owners from participating in a community of enthusiasts.

Trolls lose if you flag every single response they make wherever you find it. They can't get paid for their astroturfing, they get banned and then they leave.

Deploy flags.

dsvick | December 12, 2016

Unfortunately my flagging ability disappeared a month or so ago and has yet to reappear... :(

dyefrog | December 12, 2016

Unfortunately, it's not so simple as ignoring them. I, like a lot of member here, believe whole heartedly in the mission and goals of Tesla but to a larger extent, the advancement of sustainable transportation, renewable energy et al. Although biased, we are ambassadors to the cause and dispelling misinformation is critical to ensure the adoption to that end. There are new members that come here looking for the truth and rely on the feedback to either accept or not, the culture we embrace. We owe it to them to remain vigilant and aggressive in pointing out the differences between opinion and fact. To make a statement but caveat it as opinion or speculation is fine. But making outright claims that e.g. Model 3 base price is $42k demands a retraction and correction. Anybody new to these forums should also question everything, especially if it seems contrary to what you know to be true. Demand sources for truth claims, be skeptical until the evidence shows it to be true. Don't be afraid to call BS.

SamO | December 12, 2016

Don't be afraid to flag either.

akgolf | December 12, 2016

I'm taking a break and hoping he'll be gone when I get back.

andy.connor.e | December 12, 2016

Or ignore him. Trolls post for the replies, so if you literally dont respond to them AT ALL, they're powerless.

Red Sage ca us | December 12, 2016

dyefrog: +21! Well stated. That is precisely the mission I had in mind. It is what I currently do when posting in the comments section for Tesla articles via DiSQUS. It is what I have tried to do here, with intelligent discussion, and links to accurate data, and posts of links to videos and posts of images of charts and whatnot that prove statements by others to be utterly inaccurate or at least severely biased in favor of a point of view I do not share and stuff.

But... The tools available to me to 'Fight the Good Fight' have been sorely diminished since about February 2016 in this forum. Our palindrome defender (Is Mollom gone now?) became insistent that I was spamming the forum at all times, while others got to post outright lies with impunity. Then the painstakingly arranged charts I had prepared in hypertext got all jumbled when the allowed HTML was changed here. Later, all of the formatting and graphical input that was allowed on the site disappeared in its entirety, purged from all posts, even those where it had been allowed previously. So now I reply to posts to correct errors once, twice, maybe a dozen or so times before I begin to [IGNORE] the posts of those who are being purposely obtuse and wage personal attacks on myself and others. I figure that at some point it should be rather plainly obvious who can be trusted around here.

bdrathburn | December 12, 2016

+1 for ignore.

TFES chrome extension has user blocking functionality, currently 69 Tesla forum users are taking advantage of this extension.

dyefrog | December 12, 2016

@ andy;
"Or ignore him. Trolls post for the replies, so if you literally dont respond to them AT ALL, they're powerless."
I think some of them do it purely for sport, but the problem is that they are not powerless. They have accomplished their mission if an innocent newbie believes their lies and subscribes to their view however misguided it is. Remember the election? (there were lies of both sides, not making a political stand, just pointing out that misinformation can sway public opinion). It may be an investor trying to short Tesla, or simply desperate backpedaling on an opinion shown to be off base.
It may not seem like a big deal but the fear mongering I hear from the other side dismissing EV's came from somewhere. Getting into the back and forth on the internet is like the analogy of playing chess with a pigeon (they knock down the pieces, crap on the board and fly away convinced they won). This isn't nearly as effective as the active campaigning we do in our face to face discussions, but it's all we have here. I agree that if flagging rids the comment into the Ethernet, I'm all for it. The issue is it's a subjective decision. Who's to say you're right and they are wrong. Could just be a sore loser. It would be better if we had a human moderator but evidently this forum is not set up for that.

Red Sage ca us | December 12, 2016

dyefrog: Thank you very much for the 'Playing Chess with a Pigeon' visual. It literally made me laugh out loud. Because it is absolutely appropriate, when it comes to describing the back-and-forth with Internet Trolls.

I believe there are sort of 'hidden' moderators here. I don't believe they work through the weekends. Probably only more-or-less regular business hours on weekdays. They do not directly chastise, contribute, or censor anyone... But they are here. That is why there have been certain adjustments in the background over the last several months. I think their main goal is to monitor swings of opinion, not to influence it. That's OK.

dyefrog | December 12, 2016

You're welcome Red, thanks for the kind words. Interesting what's going on behind the scenes, I had no idea.

tstolz | December 12, 2016

@dyefrog +100 - playing chess with a pigeon ... that made my day :)

Frank99 | December 12, 2016

So, If I wanted to flag a post, how might I do that?

SamO | December 12, 2016

Buy a car.

burdogg | December 12, 2016

Flags will come out - I have just been ignoring the model 3 forum like was stated above and this imposter is still here spewing his rich spin on everything you say, while stating opinions as facts. It is time to be done with him. My flags will start coming on to, I am with you.

Frank99 | December 12, 2016

SamO -
Well if that's all it takes, I'll drop by the dealership on the way home. ;)

Thanks, I was wondering why I was getting left out. I'll look forward to my Model 3 not for the smoothness, the class, the cost savings, the planet savings, but for the ability to flag trolls.